Crossbench chaos to thwart Shorten’s plans

Crossbench chaos to thwart Shorten’s plans, by Simon Benson.

Bill Shorten’s ability to pass his tax-and-spend manifesto if elected could be put in doubt after projections that Labor would not be able to form a majority bloc with the Greens in the Senate to pass legislation without being forced to negotiate with key crossbenchers.

One Nation is tipped to ­increase its presence, with the Greens potentially losing a spot and Centre Alliance gaining a senator to likely hold the balance of power.

Despite polling pointing to a likely Labor landslide at the next election, analysis of specific Senate polling conducted since the last election shows the best-case scenario for Labor and the Greens was 38 senators, just short of being able to command the upper house.

It shows that on current trends Labor, if elected in the lower house, would face the same Senate gridlock caused by a chaotic, unpredictable and largest crossbench that has bedevilled the Coalition since 2013.